Important note from wololo: This article seems to generate a bit of controversy so let me make things clear: this is not an official contest or bounty endorsed by our site, but an initiative by one of our members. I cannot guarantee that the money being pledged will effectively be donated, except for the $200 that I myself pledged. My contribution to the bounty will increase with time, but it is the only contribution I can effectively guarantee.
I don’t know if you noticed but i started a bounty thread for enabling homebrew on Vita about a month ago. As we just hit two grand, i guess it is the best time to write an article about it.
As soon as i bought my Vita (1000 series), i fell in love with it. I was crazy about the gorgeous OLED screen, dual sticks (yes sticks, not nubs) and the best graphics i ever saw on a handheld. Uncharted could easily be considered a PS3 game. After buying and playing about 5-6 games, my interest slowly faded. Yes, there were some good games, but really, there wasn’t enough of them. After the release of Playstation 4 and the announcement of Sony about how we will see less AAA games for Vita, my suspicions were confirmed. There would never be another Uncharted, another Killzone or any new God of War. Such a waste of a great hardware.
These days, i rarely play any Vita games on my Vita. I play PS1 games, PSP games and PSP homebrews on it. Nearly every PSP stuff looks great on Vita, thanks to the OLED screen. Unfortunately PSP’s horse power is limited and the interest in PSP homebrew scene is fading away. Sony might have abandoned Vita, but we, dedicated developers and users might make the Vita shine just as PSP did.
It has been stated several times that Vita is hard to hack. It seems Sony learned their lesson from PSP. After about 3 years and 4 months from its release, there is still no public way to execute native ARM code on Vita. There is work for that generally around the webkit exploit depending on ROP, but it is still not at the stage where you can code your own homebrew in C, compile it and just run it on your Vita in an easy way. I decided to make a bounty about this with the hope to take a small part in making a healthy Vita homebrew scene possible.
Fundraisers/Bounties are not easy to setup. There are always trust issues. Check this out for how someone got away with an amount over $2000 and he is (was) a respected dev. There may also be legal issues. It is also hard to collect the money in a safe way, transfer the money again in a safe way and make most of the donators happy.
Ideal way would be hosting the donations in a pool account (preferably a Paypal account). I couldn’t do that as i guessed it would easily go over a grand and Paypal is known to shut down accounts without warning. So i decided to let people donate to the dev directly without a pool account. This would make things simpler for me but unfortunately it has the problem that people do not keep their promises and not make the donations they pledged after the release. It is a risk i have to take.
Without further ado, here is the link to The Vita Homebrew Bounty Thread. It is now at $2000. Even though i stated it clearly in the thread, i want to state it again here. I have no way to force people donate the promised amounts after the release, all i can do is list the pledges in the thread. Though you will see familiar, reputable nicks in the list, which can guarantee some amount. Also wololo is one of the donators and he guarantees $200 for now and he says it will grow in time.
My dream is to have something like Ninjhax on Vita. It is free, customizable and it has a good documentation.
So what do you think about this bounty? Please share your thoughts in the comment section.